Saturday, May 7, 2016

Audiobook Review: Bounty by Kristen Ashley

Series:  Colorado Mountain #7
Pub. Date:  April 18, 2016
Publisher:  Audible Studios
Narrator:  Emma Taylor
Length:  21 hrs 7 min
Format:  Audiobook
Source:  Audible

You probably aren't surprised to see another 5-Star Review from me for a Kristen Ashley book.  But I can't help it - she's Just. That. Good. If a book can make me laugh, ugly cry, and squirm in my seat... then its getting 5 Stars. So its no wonder that the majority of Kristen's books have gotten that rating from me. If I were able to live in a book, it would be one that she had written.  I think I would even take all the bad that happens in some of these stories just because I know I would have the KA profound goodness by the end. Seriously, if there is a such thing as an author soul mate, she is mine.

I have been so curious about Deke throughout this (and other) series. He usually has a smaller secondary part and we have had some allusions to his mysterious past... and of course he has saved the day on more than one occasion.  So even if I wasn't totally in love with KA's writing, I knew that Deke was going to have an interesting story. He's a biker, a traveling man, kind of a lone wolf. He spends the winter in Carnal, Colorado, which is the setting for most of this book. He's six-and-a-half feet of yummy man muscle with broad shoulders and pinch-able pecs, topped by a full beard and man bun. (Check the links, you don't want to miss my future ex-husband, Lasse Matberg.) Of course I loved Deke... what's not to love? I loved his loyalty to his friends in Carnal. I loved that he saved the day for Laurie in Sweet Dreams, and helped dig Faye out of the ground in Breathe. I loved the relationship he had with his mama, and how he honored her after she passed away.

Justice Lonesome is rock-and-roll royalty.  Her father and grandfather were rock legends, and the rest of her family is involved in the business in one way or another. Justice has a self-diagnosed poet's soul. She takes all the pain, heartache, and just her abundance of feelings and funnels them into her songwriting. I liked Justice quite a bit. One of the things I love most about Kristen Ashley (besides her alpha males) is that she writes heroines (and characters in general) that are mature, engaging, relatable, and easy to connect with. Most of her characters are 28-45, which makes me super happy because I am so burnt out on the new adult romances that have saturated the market. I liked that Justice recognized her soulmate in Deke and, even when he didn't remember her, she didn't put him through unnecessary grief and drama. I loved the relationship that she had with her father, and even the unconventional relationship with Joss and Rowdy. Justice was simply a down-to-earth rock chick that fit into the Carnal community seamlessly.

Background Photo credit: Annie Fischinger Fotografie
Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND
This was not an instalove relationship. The book opens up with Justice and Deke's first meeting... then we skip ahead 7 years to the present time.  Because Deke doesn't immediately remember Justice, they do not fall into each other's arms. Then when everything is out in the open, there are other issues that Deke has to work through before the relationship can get under way.  So there is a bit of a slow burn, but once the spark catches - it goes off with a BANG.

Being in Carnal allowed us to reconnect with some of our KA favorites - Tate and Lauren, Bubba and Crystal (who is pregnant!!!), Chace and Faye, Ty and Lexie, Shambles and Sunny. KA's characters are so engaging and personable, I could totally see myself hanging out with any of them. 

As I listened to this one in audio, I should comment on that.  First, I normally listen to audiobooks while I am getting ready for work.  But seriously, listening to a Kristen Ashley book while doing your makeup is an exercise in futility.  You will end up with ruined mascara from your uncontrollable bouts of ugly crying or just tearing up becuase something moved you.  Emma Taylor did a fabulous job with the narration... she did both female and male voices justice (no pun intended) and she inflected emotion into her narrative as she read.  The one thing that I do not like about audiobooks is that its so hard for me to make notes and highlight quotes as I listen. And I tend to highlight quotes A LOT when I'm reading a KA book.  But otherwise I loved listening. I think my plan for all KA books going forward will be to read first, then listen on the re-read.


Colorado Mountain Series